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America Saves Week


									                    America Saves Week
                February 24 – March 2, 2008

            A Guide for Extension Educators:
               Motivational Workshops

This working paper was prepared by a team of Cooperative Extension professionals and the
America Saves team at the Consumer Federation of America. To access the most current version
of this document on-line, go to

July 2007
For further information and questions, contact

Nancy Register, Director, America Saves, or
Jane Schuchardt, National Program Leader, CSREES, USDA,

America Saves Week Extension Leadership Team
Southern Region
Jennifer Abel       
Virginia Cooperative Extension, Arlington County
Elaine Courtney     
University of Florida Extension, Okaloosa County
June Puett          
University of Tennessee Extension

Northeast Region
Barbara O’Neill   
Rutgers Cooperative Extension

Western Region
Patti Wooten-Swanson
University of California Extension

Central Region
Caezilia Loibl     
Ohio State University Extension
Carol Young        
Kansas State University Extension

The following pages provide extension educators with the following resources and tools for
a successful America Saves Week:

Item                                                                                                                  Page
My America Saves Week Weekly Planner ...................................................................................... 3
America Saves Motivational Workshop Script ............................................................................... 4
America Saves Week Program and Event Information Form.......................................................... 6
America Saves Week Workshop Facilitator Guidelines .................................................................. 7
America Saves Week Presenter Registration Form ......................................................................... 8
America Saves Week Class Sign-In Template .............................................................................. 10
America Saves Week Ice Breakers for Motivational Workshops.................................................. 11
America Saves Week Motivational Workshops ............................................................................ 13
America Saves Week ―Get Acquainted Financial Bingo‖ Game .................................................. 15
America Saves Week Welcome Letter for New Savers ................................................................ 16
America Saves Week Certificate of Participation for New Savers ................................................ 17

                                                             2   America Saves Week 2008 - A Guide for Extension Educators
My America Saves Week Weekly Planner
Prepared by: Barbara O’Neill, Rutgers Cooperative Extension

Use this schedule to list the times and dates of the America Saves Week activities that you plan to

         Sunday    Monday     Tuesday     Wednesday       Thursday       Friday       Saturday       Sunday
         Feb. 24   Feb. 25    Feb. 26      Feb. 27         Feb. 28       Feb. 29      Mar. 01        Mar. 02

 9 am

10 am

11 am


 1 pm

 2 pm

 3 pm

 4 pm

 5 pm

 6 pm

 7 pm

 8 pm

 9 pm

                                                 3    America Saves Week 2008 - A Guide for Extension Educators
America Saves Motivational Workshop Script
Prepared by: June Puett, University of Tennessee Extension

Note: The motivational workshop format is adaptable. Workshops may consist of a brief 5-10
minute presentation to a civic group, a 30-60 minute worksite session or be incorporated into a
multi-session program. Some agents fully integrate the America Saves message into their
ongoing educational efforts, while others use the message and materials to supplement their
The key to enrolling Savers is to motivate them to set a savings and/or reduction goal.
Enthusiasm is contagious. Providing an ―enrollment kit‖ for those who enroll on site gives
Savers some tangible tools to assist them with their goals. Kits may contain publications from
Extension and other educational partners, as well as other items that may have been offered
anyway. Package them in an Extension envelop, plastic money ―receipt bag,‖ or other marketing
container and it becomes ―a free gift‖ for enrolling. Suggested kits items:
  Welcome letter -- explains program, lists sponsor
  List of low or no-fee accounts
  Spending Plan worksheet
  Net Worth Statement worksheet
  Ballpark Retirement Estimator worksheet
  Marketing items with logo and/or Saves logos: coin purse, calculator, pens, notepads, etc.

Experiment to find what works best for you.


My name is ____ and I work with_____. I’m here to encourage you to think out your financial

Do you have all the money you need? Will you have enough money to live comfortably in
retirement? The America Saves program was developed to motivate people of all ages and
income levels to set achievable money goals. America Saves is a national marketing campaign
funded by organizations such as the Consumer Federation of America to encourage people
across the country to build wealth by saving money and/or reducing debt.
What is wealth building? It’s another term for planning and saving for a secure financial future.
Unfortunately, many Americans haven’t done a good job of building wealth. Let’s look at some
money facts.

Americans love to spend, but hate to pay. The average family owes $9,000 in credit card debt
and is paying $1,000 a year on the interest alone. Many families don’t have enough money saved
for an emergency. Only 53% of today’s workers have tried to estimate the amount of money
they’ll need for retirement.

Many experts are predicting we need from 70-100% of our present salary to cover rising health
care costs and provide a comfortable lifestyle. Women outlive men by an average of 4-7 years,

                                                4   America Saves Week 2008 - A Guide for Extension Educators
so they will need more money in their retirement years. What do you want your retirement years
to look like?
(Optional activity: Have them draw a picture of what they want their retirement years to look

The America Saves program can help prepare you for retirement and other financial goals. We
want you on our team! We are a team of local partners like the University of ___________
Extension, banks, credit unions, etc. (name your coalition partners) who are committed to
encourage local people to set a savings and/or debt reduction goal by enrolling as an American
Saver. If you choose to enroll today you’ll join over 85,000 youth and adults nationally and
___________ local people who have become an American Saver. (Keep these numbers updated.)

Why should you become an American Savers? Here are several reasons:

 Motivation - Research shows that we do better reaching a goal when we write it down.
 Free quarterly newsletter - This colorful newsletter contains good tips on money management
  and information about the America Saves campaigns across the country. It may take a few
  months for you to receive the first letter. You can choose to have it sent electronically by
  completing the e-mail address on your form. If you choose to have it mailed to you, you will
  receive a letter with the fourth letter requiring you to notify America Saves if you want to
  remain on the mailing list.
 Enrollment kit - (Show and explain enrollment kits.)
 Free workshops - If you chose, we will notify you about free workshops on topics such as
  budgeting, credit, home buying, etc.
 No sales pitch - We will never try to sell you a product. We protect your privacy and will not
  share your name and address.
 Follow-up contacts - (This is dependant on the capacity of your local campaign.) If you chose
  to mark this box on your enrollment form, one of our volunteers will contact you to see how
  well you are doing on your goal. We can also offer referrals to agencies that provide services
  such as home-buying programs and credit counseling.

It’s easy to become a Saver. The most important task is to set either a savings or debt reduction
goal. Let’s look at the Saves brochure. We’ve listed several possible goals that you may want to
save money for. While it’s great to have several goals, select one goal to focus on in the next few
months and mark that goal.

Next decide how much money you think you can save each month to work on that goal. The
amount may be as small as $10 a month. How can you find money to save? (Have them list ways
to save money - reducing spending, eliminating cable, etc.) Let’s go over the brochure.

                                                 5   America Saves Week 2008 - A Guide for Extension Educators
America Saves Week Program and Event Information Form
Prepared by: Barbara O’Neill, Rutgers Cooperative Extension

Please complete this form if you are planning an educational program or other activity during
New Jersey Saves Week and e-mail it to by mm/dd/2008.

Use a separate form for EACH event that you are planning.

Program/Event Title: __________________________________________

Presenter(s) Name(s) and Affiliation(s):



Date:         _____________________________________________

Time(s):      _____________________________________________

Location:     _____________________________________________

Registration Information:

Contact Person: _____________________________________________

E-mail Address: _____________________________________________

Daytime Phone: ________________ Fax Number: __________________________

Web Site:     _____________________________________________

Description of Presentation (Do not exceed 50 words):

                                               6   America Saves Week 2008 - A Guide for Extension Educators
America Saves Week Workshop Facilitator Guidelines
Prepared by: Barbara O’Neill, Rutgers Cooperative Extension

Dear _____________:

Thank you for agreeing to facilitate an America Saves Week presentation or presentations.

Several days before the session(s), please contact the presenter(s) to let them know your role and
that you will be introducing them. Ask for a few points for their bio. Their names and contact
info. can be found on the America Saves Week schedule.

Duties at the America Saves Week kick-off

Pick up a facilitator’s packet for each session that you are facilitating. The packet will include a
door sign, evaluation and attendance forms, a ―No Commercials‖ sign, America Saves Week
program schedules, and give-away items.

10 duties at the day of the session

   1. Arrive at presentation site at least15 minutes prior to start time of presentation.
   2. Post the America Saves Week sign outside of presentation room (bring tape with you).
   3. Bring America Saves Week handouts and give-away items for distribution at beginning of
   4. Bring ―No Commercials‖ sign with you to hold up if same occurs.
   5. Bring evaluation forms for participants (hold onto all evaluations until debriefing
   6. Meet and greet participants at the door. Wear a name tag and have each participant sign
       in on the sign in sheet.
   7. Welcome all and briefly explain the objectives of America Saves Week.
   8. Introduce the presenter – get brief bio ahead of time – and remain for the presentation.
   9. Collect participant evaluations and thank everyone for attending.
   10. Complete facilitator evaluation; turn in at follow-up meeting (date to be announced).

                                                  7   America Saves Week 2008 - A Guide for Extension Educators
America Saves Week Presenter Registration Form
Prepared by: Barbara O’Neill, Rutgers Cooperative Extension

America Saves Week in [location] is being organized to promote positive financial action such as
saving, investing, and debt repayment. The week will feature a variety of events hosted by local
agencies and organizations. We would like to involve you.

Please complete this form if you would like to present a workshop during America Saves Week.

Presenter(s) Name(s):                                       E-mail:

Firm or Organization:

Mailing Address:

Contact Person:

Day Phone:                              Cell Phone:                             Fax:

Presentation Title: ______________________________________________________________

Description of Presentation (Do not exceed 75 words):

Intended Audience:                                 Length of your presentation:

 Children (8-12)                                   ½ hour
 Teenagers (13-17)                                 1 hour
 Young Adults (18-24)                              2 hours
 Adults (25-60)                                   Please allow time for questions and discussion.
 Seniors (60+)
 Other, please describe: _________________        Would you be willing to participate as a
                                                   member of a panel?

                                                    Yes
                                                    No

                                               8    America Saves Week 2008 - A Guide for Extension Educators
Preferred time of presentation:
Indicate 1st, 2nd, 3rd choices and ―not available‖ times

                  Sun.       Mon.       Tues.      Wed.        Thurs.        Fri.         Sat.        Sun.
                 Feb. 25    Feb. 26    Feb. 27    Feb. 28      Mar. 01      Mar. 02      Mar. 03     Mar. 04
(9 am – Noon)
(Noon – 6 pm)
(6 pm – 9 pm)

                                      Policies and Procedures

1. The America Saves Week Coordinating Committee will determine the workshop locations
   and presentations for all events open to the public; I agree to abide by their decision.

2. I understand that the America Saves Week Coordinating Committee cannot guarantee a
   minimum number of attendees at any particular workshop.

3. I understand that no fee can be charged to participants who attend America Saves Week

4. I understand that no marketing of products, services, or businesses is permitted during or
   immediately prior to or following an America Saves Week workshop.

Name ________________________________________ Title_________________________

Signature ______________________________________ Date ________________________

Questions/comments? _________________________________________________________

A member of the America Saves Week Coordinating Committee will contact you regarding
workshop site and presentation selections, proposed schedules, and guidelines.

Please fax this form to the America Saves Week Coordinating Committee by [Deadline Date], to
[Contact Person] at [Phone Number].

                       FORMS is [Date and Time].

                                                  9   America Saves Week 2008 - A Guide for Extension Educators
America Saves Week Class Sign-In Template
Prepared by: Barbara O’Neill, Rutgers Cooperative Extension

Name                         Town                   How did you hear about this event?
                                                  TV       Radio       Flyer      Newspaper

                                             10   America Saves Week 2008 - A Guide for Extension Educators
America Saves Week Ice Breakers for Motivational Workshops
Prepared by: Elaine A. Courtney, University of Florida/IFAS Extension in Okaloosa County

The following activities are suggestions of ways to ―open the door‖ to discussions about money
and financial issues. They are provided from a variety of sources, including talented Extension

What’s in Your Wallet?
Materials:     None, unless you choose to provide pennies or other coins.
Time:          10-15 minutes (depends on group size).
Directions:    ―Pick a coin from your wallet. Look at the date. I’d like you to think on one
thing that happened that year that impacted your financial situation (good or bad!). Then, we’ll
go around the table and ask you to share briefly your year.‖
Examples:      1983 - had a child; 1960 - I was born; 1998 - bought a house; 2001 - lost my job,

What’s Your Movie?
Materials:      None
Time:           10-15 minutes (depends on group size).
Directions:     ―Think of the title of a movie that you think relates to money. If you can’t think
of a real one, make one up! Now, we’ll go around and let each person share their movie title
(and why).‖
Examples:       Gone with the Wind, The Money Pit, Milk Money, Gone in 60 Seconds, etc.

What’s on Your Shirt?
Materials:     None
Time:          10-15 minutes (depends on group size).
Directions:    ―Imagine that you are wearing a t-shirt or sweat shirt that has writing on it. The
words reflect your attitude about life and money. What does your shirt say? Think about it a
few minutes and then we’ll go around and share.
Examples:      Changes in attitudes; Changes in latitudes; Easy come - easy go; Don’t worry - be

What’s Your Future?
Materials:      paper, markers or pencils
Time:           15 minutes (may take longer with larger group).
Directions:     ―On the paper in front of you, draw a picture of what you think your future will
look like in 5 years (or 10, 20, etc.). What will you be doing then? Working? Sailing? Take a
few minutes to complete your drawing (you’re not judged by your artwork), and then everyone
can share their future.‖

                                                11   America Saves Week 2008 - A Guide for Extension Educators
24 Hour Recall
Materials:      Paper, pencils. You may choose to use blank paper or do a handout with columns
for different expense categories.
Time:           10 minutes
Directions:     ―Think back 24 hours. What have you done during that time? More importantly,
how much money did you spend? Take a moment and write down EVERY CENT you spent
during that 24 hours.‖
*option — can ask group to think of a day last week, last month.
Discussion: Was it easy to recall what you spent?
                Do you think you remembered everything?
                How difficult is it to remember a week ago?
                How does this relate to developing a spending plan or budget?

Money Puzzle Partners *
Materials:      Play dollar bills. Cut each bill in half using different cutting techniques (puzzle
style). You’ll need one bill for every two people in the group.
Time:           15-20 minutes
Directions:     Randomly distribute the ―half‖ dollars. ―Look around the room and find your
money puzzle partners. Introduce yourself to one another and tell one thing you know about
money.‖ After everyone has found their ―partner‖ — ―Now, each pair will have a turn to
introduce your partner. Tell their name and one thing they know about money.‖

*Adapted from Financial Champions 4-H Cooperative Curriculum System

Money Saving Shuffle
Materials:      Five play dollars bills for each participant and pencils.
Time: 15-20 minutes
Directions:     Give each participant five play dollar bills. Ask participants to write a money
saving tip on the back of each bill. Ask participants to rank their saving tips with the tip that can
save the most money ranked first. Now ask participants to rank their tips again with the saving
tip that can be used the most often ranked first.
Option:         Form small groups (2-4 people). Combine saving tips and begin the ranking
procedures explained above. Have groups share their top five saving tips with the group.
Compare the total savings from a tip that can save a small amount of money over and over and a
―one-time‖ tip that saves a large amount of money.

                                                   12   America Saves Week 2008 - A Guide for Extension Educators
America Saves Week Motivational Workshops
Contributed by: Elaine A. Courtney, University of Florida/IFAS Extension in Okaloosa County

The Wright Family
Concept: Certain skills for good communication are certainly more important than others. One
of the most important of these is this skill of listening. This activity will show the importance of
listening and how difficult that is when you are not concentrating on what is being said because
you’re busy doing something else. Does this happen when talking about money?

Time Frame: Ten minutes plus discussion time

Materials Needed:
            The Wright Family Story
            One button, candy or other small item for each person in the group

Activity: Have your entire group form a circle. They can sit in the floor ―Indian Style‖ or seated
in chairs or even standing in a circle. Give each person in the circle a button or some other small
item that can be passed easily from hand to hand.

Directions: ―I am going to read you a story. Every time you hear any word that sounds like
right or left, pass the button in your hand to the person on your right or left depending on what
you heard.‖ Start reading the story slowly so that they have a chance to catch on to what you
want them to do. After a few passes, stop the story and ask them how they are doing. Check to
see that everyone has a button in his hand. If your group is typical, some will have two or three
buttons and others will not have any. Have them redistribute the buttons so that everyone has
one again. Now continue to read the story, getting faster as you go. Stop the story a couple of
more times to check on how they are doing.

                                Life with the Wright Family
        One day the Wright family decided to take a vacation. The first thing they had to decide
was who would be left at home since there was not enough room in the Wright family car for all
of them. Mr. Wright decided that Aunt Linda Wright would be the one left at home. Of course,
this made Aunt Linda Wright so mad that she left the house immediately yelling, ―It will be a
right cold day before I return‖.

        The Wright family now bundled up the children, Tommy Wright, Susan Wright, Timmy
Wright, and Shelly Wright and got in the car and left. Unfortunately, as they turned out of the
driveway, someone had left a trash can in the street, so they had to turn right around and stop the
car. They told Tommy Wright to get out of the car and move the trash can, so they could get
going. Tommy took so long that they almost left him in the street. Once the Wright family got
on the road, Mother Wright wondered if she had left the stove on. Father Wright told her not to

                                                 13   America Saves Week 2008 - A Guide for Extension Educators
worry, he had checked the stove and she had not left it on. As they turned at the corner,
everyone started to think about other things that they might have left undone.

        No need to worry now, they were off on the right fine vacation. When they arrived at the
gas station, Father Wright put gas in the car and then discovered that he had left his wallet at
home. So Timmy Wright ran home to get the money that was left behind. After Timmy had left,
Susan Wright started to feel sick. She left the car saying that she had to throw up. This, of
course, got mother Wright’s attention and she left the car in a hurry. Shelly Wright wanted to
watch Susan get sick, so she left the car, too. Father Wright was left with Tommy Wright, who
was playing a game in the backseat.

        With all of this going on, Father Wright decided that this was not the right time to take a
vacation, so he gathered up all of the family and left the gas station as quickly as he could.
When he arrived home, he turned left into the driveway and said, ―I wish the Wright family had
never left the house today!‖

Discussion Ideas:
    What made the activity difficult to accomplish?
    What impact did what other people do have on your ability to stay up with the story?
    How did you feel during the activity?
    What would have made the activity easier to accomplish?
    How hard was it to listen and pass the objects at the same time?
    How seriously did everyone take the activity?
    What impact did the level of seriousness have on the activity?
    What can this activity tell us about communication?
    How hard were you concentrating during the activity?
    How hard were the people concentrating on either side of you?
    How does this level of concentration compare with what you do when someone is talking
       to you?
    Describe a situation you have had where someone was not really listening to you when
       you were telling him or her something. How did this make you feel?

                                                 14   America Saves Week 2008 - A Guide for Extension Educators
America Saves Week ―Get Acquainted Financial Bingo‖ Game
Prepared by: Barbara O’Neill

Circulate with your fellow kick-off attendees. Introduce yourself and ask if the other person can
provide a ―yes‖ answer for any of the blocks on your bingo card. If he/she can, ask him/her to
put their initials in the block and then quickly move on to the next person until you get BINGO!
You can only get one signature from each individual.

When you get a ―Bingo!‖ (a complete row, a complete column, or a complete diagonal line),
shout ―Bingo!‖ Prizes will be awarded to the first participants who complete a ―Bingo!‖

          B                        I                       N                     G                         O
Owns stock in at least   Lives in a             Remembers how           Can define what a       Has a savings
one U.S. company         household that         he/she earned           mutual fund is          account in a bank or
                         prepares its own tax   his/her first dollar!                           credit union. Name of
Name of the              return (on paper or                            What is it?_____        financial institution
company:__________       with a computer)       In what way?                                    __________

Family owns a car        Has a 401(k),          Has a collection of                             Knows what an IRA
that is owned free and   403(b), or 457 plan    some type, such as      Has a college           (individual retirement
clear (no current car    or an IRA for          coins, stamps, art,     savings plan for        account) is
loan payments)           personal retirement    antiques, collector     their children
                         savings                cars, etc.                                      What is it?________

Pays credit cards in     Has at least $25 in    Knows what the          Owns U.S. savings       Saves or invests
full each month to       cash with you          Dow Jones               bonds (EE and/or I      money on a regular
avoid interest charges   currently              Industrial Average      bonds) in his/her       basis (e.g., weekly or
                                                (DJIA) is               name                    monthly) for future
                                                                                                financial goals
                                                What is it?_____

Has a life insurance     Has set specific       Has accessed            Can define and give     Has money set aside
policy in his/her name   written financial      his/her credit report   an example of           in cash assets for
                         goals with a target    in the past six         inflation               emergencies, such as
                         date and a savings     months to check for                             unemployment or car
                         plan                   status and errors       What is it?______       repairs

Spends money at least    Can explain how        Lives in a house        Has automatic           Has read a personal
once a week on fast      compound interest      that has a mortgage     payroll deduction       finance book within
food                     works                  on it                   dedicated to saving     the last six months

                         What is it?_____                                                       Title_____________?

                                                         15   America Saves Week 2008 - A Guide for Extension Educators
America Saves Week Welcome Letter for New Savers

Congratulations on becoming an American Saver. Saving toward your goal will not only help
you build wealth and financial security, but will also strengthen the nation’s economy.

As an American Saver, you qualify for a membership card, a ―Build Wealth, Not Debt‖
brochure, information about basic savings options, and our quarterly newsletter, which will be e-
mailed to you if you enrolled via the Internet. We encourage you to use our website,, which includes a unique calculator that estimates your current and
future wealth.

America Saves currently supports the organization of wealth-building campaigns in communities
around the country, including efforts made by Cooperative Extensions. Information about how
to organize or become involved in a local campaign is available on our website. If you have
questions, please contact us by e-mail (, or fax (202-265-7989).

                                               16   America Saves Week 2008 - A Guide for Extension Educators
America Saves Week Certificate of Participation for New Savers

                                         Certificate of Participation
                                                The certificate indicates that

                has enrolled in the America Saves program during a New Jersey Saves Week (NJSW) event, 2/25-
                 3/4/07, sponsored by the Consumer Federation of America, in cooperation with the New Jersey
                                               Coalition for Financial Education.

                                                              Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®,
                                                              NJSW Project Manager

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